By Christopher Tenpenny
The No. 3 ranked Drexel Bobcats football team picked up right where they left off as they opened up the season with a 78-20 dismantling of Concordia at Drexel Friday night.
The Bobcats scored in almost every way possible as they found the endzone via rushing, passing, kickoff return, punt return, interception return and a safety.
“We have a high confidence level in our team,” Drexel head coach Philip Dean said. “We feel good about our kids and think this year is going to be similar to last year. They have stepped up.”
Before all the scoring started, the Bobcats found themselves early in the game. After forcing Concordia to punt on its opening possession, the Bobcats found themselves pinned at the one-yard-line. Drexel’s first offensive play of the new season resulted in a fumble involving quarterback Jacob Coffey. Concordia recovered the fumble in the endzone and took an early 6-0 lead.
Coffey, who the led the state in rushing touchdowns last season, was converted to quarterback this season after only playing running back his first two years. When his first snap at a new position resulted in a turnover, it would be easy to get down on yourself. Coffey responded differently.
“Obviously, you don’t love to see the fumble on the first series,” Dean said. “In those high pressure situations, he responded from that hiccup, the entire offense did. We didn’t let it deter us from doing what we wanted to do.”
The Bobcats responded quickly as Cory Cumpton took an end-around 34 yards for the first touchdown of the season. After a quick Concordia possession, Coffey scored his first touchdown of the season on a 58-yard run. The Bobcats were off and running.
Coffey finished the game with 218 yards on 11 carries, four rushing touchdowns, 63 passing yards and three passing touchdowns on three completions. He also added an interception return for a touchdown on defense. Cumpton also had a very strong game with a rushing touchdown, punt return and kick return touchdown.
Coffey and Cumpton made up two-thirds of the three-headed monster Drexel had on offense last year. With Ethan Irvin graduating, the Bobcats were in search for a third offensive weapon. One may have emerged as sophomore Ethan Dayringer found the endzone twice for the Bobcats. Dayringer caught two short passes and was able to take them both to the endzone showing off his speed and quickness.
“He’s an explosive and tough player,” Dean said. “We saw him make some plays in the summer and were wondering how it would translate on the field. He had a great game. As an offensive coordinator, he’s someone you love to have.”
Other notables include Trevor Ward with 52 rushing yards, Billy Lau with a receiving touchdown and TJ Munter forced a safety.
The Bobcats will travel to Appleton City tommorow. Appleton City fell 58-22 to No. 1 ranked Stanberry and will have another tough opponent with Drexel. While Drexel feels confident heading into the game, Dean said they are not overlooking anyone.
“We have a lot of respect for coach Basore and the program they have over in Appleton City,” Dean said. “Two years ago, they beat us by 40 and still have members on their team who remember that and have experienced beating us. We have to come ready to play.”